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Trial for family violence video evidence

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 19/06/2017
Stock © Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images Stock

Family violence victims won't have to go through the trauma of making a written statement to police if a new trial is successful.

Officers in Counties Manukau will begin trialling digital recording of statements at the scene from Monday.

The trial has two aims: reducing stress on victims and presenting courts with better evidence against alleged offenders.

"Instead of requiring victims of family violence to provide a written and signed statement of what happened back at the station, police will video the victim's statement," Police Minister Paula Bennett said.

"The intention is to have these statements played in court."

Victims would need to consent to a video statement before one was taken.

Ms Bennett assured the videos would be uploaded to secure, cloud-based storage for the duration of the investigation and court proceedings.

It's not the first time video evidence has been trialled, but it would be the first time that evidence would be admissible in court after changes to the Evidence Regulations came into force in January.

The trial will be evaluated based on feedback from victims and frontline police before any decision on its future use is made.

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